Evolving Trends in Electric Cars

The electric cars market is rapidly evolving, with its current size and projected growth demonstrating its transformative potential. As of the latest available data, the global electric vehicle market is expected to sell approximately 14 million electric cars by the end of 2023, a remarkable increase of nearly 35% compared to the previous year (Source: International Energy Agency – IEA).

Projections for the near future are equally impressive, with the electric cars market expected to witness exponential growth. By 2030, it is estimated that electric vehicles will make up a substantial portion of the global automotive landscape, with forecasts suggesting that there could be over 250 million electric cars in operation by that time, marking a significant shift towards sustainable transportation (Source: Bloomberg NEF – BNEF) and avoiding the need for 5 million barrels of oil per day (Source: International Energy Agency – IEA).

In this blog post, we delve into the insights gathered by DCMN through our Brand Tracker research conducted in September among 2000 German consumers. These findings provide a snapshot of the current landscape, shedding light on ownership statistics, consumer preferences, motivations, and the most recognised electric car brands.

Current Ownership vs. Future Consideration

Despite the buzz surrounding electric vehicles, petrol cars still dominate the German automotive landscape. Currently, only 7% of German consumers own an electric car compared to 53% owning Petrol and 26% Diesel. Gas (4%), Hybrid (5%) and no car owned (14%) make up the rest of the respondents to the survey. However, the outlook is more promising for the future, with 33% considering an electric car for their next purchase.

Interestingly, both current ownership and future consideration lean towards the male demographic. This suggests that marketing and outreach efforts for electric vehicles may need to be more inclusive to attract a broader audience.

Only 7% of German consumers own an electric car compared to 53% owning Petrol and 26% Diesel.

Motivations and Barriers

For many Germans, the primary motivation for considering electric cars is environmental protection (66%). Following closely are financial incentives, such as reducing fuel costs (52%) and enjoying lower running expenses (37%).

However, there are notable barriers to wider electric cars adoption. Higher initial costs (45%), concerns about lower mileage (44%), and the logistical challenges of charging infrastructure remain significant obstacles. Interestingly, consumers aged 46-55 seem to express these concerns more frequently than their younger counterparts.

Source: DCMN Brand Tracker, September 2023 Sample size against: 1339 Sample size for: 662

Brand Preferences

One striking finding is that Germans overwhelmingly trust their national automotive industry and engineers. A staggering 86% of respondents express a preference for a German-manufactured electric car. This could serve as a powerful marketing lever for domestic automakers.

In contrast, the preference for Chinese-manufactured electric cars stands at 21%. Notably, this preference is more pronounced among men and the 46-55 age group, suggesting that these demographics might be more open to international brands.

Source: DCMN Brand Tracker, September 2023 (Sample size: 706)

Most Recognised Electric Car Brands

Polestar, MG, BYD, and Nio emerge as the most recognised electric car brands, especially among men and those aged 46-55. This recognition could offer a competitive edge to these manufacturers in a rapidly evolving market.

  • Polestar, a Swedish automotive brand, is renowned for its sleek and sustainable electric vehicles. Combining cutting-edge technology with minimalist design, Polestar offers an eco-conscious driving experience with a touch of Scandinavian elegance.
  • MG, a British-born brand with a rich history, has reinvented itself in the electric age. Known for its affordable yet stylish electric cars, MG combines tradition with innovation, making electric mobility accessible to a wider audience.
  • BYD: As a leading Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, BYD focuses on green technology and innovation. Known for its diverse range of electric cars, buses, and monorails, BYD is committed to delivering sustainable transportation solutions on a global scale.
  • Nio: a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, stands out for its commitment to premium electric mobility. Renowned for its high-performance electric SUVs, Nio offers cutting-edge technology, breathtaking design, and a unique battery-swapping service, redefining the electric vehicles experience.

Conclusion

As we examine the state of electric cars in Germany through the lens of DCMN’s Brand Tracker research, it’s evident that the landscape is evolving. While petrol cars still dominate in terms of current ownership, the future holds great promise for electric vehicles. Motivated primarily by environmental concerns and potential savings, consumers are increasingly considering electric cars for their next purchase.

To bridge the gap between consideration and adoption, addressing concerns related to initial costs, mileage, and charging infrastructure will be essential. Moreover, the unwavering trust in German engineering presents a unique opportunity for domestic manufacturers, but international brands also have their place in the market.

The electric car revolution is gaining momentum, and with the right strategies, both domestic and international manufacturers can thrive in this exciting era of sustainable transportation.

Learn more

How can DCMN help electric vehicle companies scale in the German and European market?

DCMN has a proven track record of helping brands successfully enter new markets, particularly in Germany and Europe. With the rapidly growing market for electric vehicles, an increasing number of new car manufacturers are entering the stage, especially from China. These brands must compete with the strongest and most established car manufacturers in Germany and all across Europe.

For such brands, a well-planned and well-executed market entry strategy is essential to create awareness and brand recognition. In addition to brand building, it is crucial that new car brands can establish their first models successfully in the German and European market and, therefore, focus on measurable digital distribution performance.

DCMN can support new market entrants, particularly by combining two successful market entry approaches: the Global Expansion Navigator (GEN) and Brandformance. The Global Expansion Navigator helps strategically plan and execute market entry strategies, while Brandformance combines brand and performance marketing strategies to not only create brand awareness, but also achieve measurable results.

References

  1. International Energy Agency – https://www.iea.org/energy-system/transport/electric-vehicles
  2. BloombergNEF – BNEF – https://about.bnef.com/electric-vehicle-outlook/ 
  3. DCMN Brand Tracker – 2000 German consumers surveyed monthly

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